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03.12.2019 Feature Article

The Botched Referendum

The Botched Referendum
DEC 3, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

The political rope had been stretched to its elastic limit. All the players seemed to be groping in broad daylight.

The Decision Day was 16 days away. There was reported toxic in the atmosphere.

A voice cried: "I do not believe this is a proper atmosphere...and even though I believe a strong campaign of a Yes vote would have succeeded.. that process of repeal should be put on hold."

Remember, the Mills'(Agya Atta) Reviewed Constitutional Committee tried to make this work but it came to a zilch. And behold for the second time in about 10 years it's been put on hold.

The reason, tension had been acting out.
He'd been behaving like a brat, firing insults, throwing tantrums and lampooning the hunter and everyone around him.

The two major political parties--the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC ) had been at loggerheads. And they still are.

They couldn't see eye to eye in that process of repeal.

The actors had growled and howled.
Some of them screamed like kids.
They screamed their lungs out as though they were on extreme scream machine.

You'd think they'd put brakes on it.
And the general of the mosaic group would soon fire: "You're out of options."

What's this?
It's politics. And yes the actors have done it again. They did it in a bravado style. In a manner that left many open-mouthed.

Where were the citizens?The citizens were napping at the banks of the Volta River.

They didn't see it coming. The'd their eyes set on December 17 for the Referendum.

Paradoxically, as the citizens were napping the politicians on the other hand were engaged in politcal jabs. Who told you they wouldn't do it again? See, you've been fooled.

The politicians have failed the Referendum Test. They didn't see the value or merit of the Examiner 's simple question:-

Do you like avocado?
Say Yes, if you do, or check No, if you don't.
But they fumbled!
So art thou genuine?
Art thou sincere?
How'd you treat Socrates?
And did you pay Pompey his dues?
Do you've any credibility left in your closet?
You're like a hand grenade, we know what's in your belly. Yes we do. But we're oblivious to where thou bullets would land.

Centuries ago, we missed Caesar's live speech in Rome. Together with our kings and queens we thrrugged the craggy path across the high mountains and the crocodile-infested lakes through Dahoney (the land of snakes) to catch a glimpse of the Emperor..

We didn't see Caesar.
We didn't hear his speech. Rather we carried home loads of sludge. Our clothes and shoes were smeared with mud. They looked dirty, messy and filthy. The chiefs wore it too.

But for Shakespeare, we'd have missed all the drama, all the action and all the romance.

We owe the great author depth of gratitude.
When things get to a head, good leaders with good judgment use their heads.They don't wait for their beards to catch fire.They ask cool heads to prevail.

Was that the case?
It appeared, so much water had passed under the bridge. Big toes had been stepped on. Insinuation lurked around campfires. Animosity kept stoking the fire and it seemed the centre was loosing traction.

And the President spoke:
“So fellow Ghanaians, it is of deep regret that I have given instructions to the minister for local government and Rural development to spearhead the process with commendable vigour and dynamism on behalf of the government to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of article 243 (1) and Article 55 (2),” the President announced.

But on Monday, 2 December, the General Mosquito (Asiedu Nketia) sharpened his scalpel and hit the streets. 'Choobo'i!

Mr Nketia had questioned the President’s claim of ‘lack of consensus.

“He did not seek the consensus of Ghanaians on this issue so why should he pull out of it claiming there is no consensus,” remarked the general.

The NDC General Secretary.asked the President to apologise to Ghanaians for putting the exercise on hold rather than blame it on his lack of consensus claim.

Did the President Meet Fmr. Prez Mahama?
Rumour had swirled that President Akufo-Addo met with former President John Mahama to have discussions on the referendum. Bur the outspoken NDC chief scribe says there was never a meeting between the two.

“When did Akufo-Addo meet with Mahama and other parties? What does he do when he meets with former Presidents on national issues?

He only meets with them and talks that’s all, he fails to take actions on any discussions he holds with them,” said the General.

So where do we go from here?
Are we going to continue to hold each other's throat or smoke a peace pipe?

And how long is the process going to be on hold?

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2019

The author has 344 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: GordonOffinAmaniampong

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